Volkswagen was sued for the settlement of defeat devices which could disguise the amount of harmful emission of the vehicles.
Defeat device can modulate the emission when the diesel vehicle entered the examining area so that the vehicle can pass the test. The device could identify the testing status with monitoring the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine's operation, and barometric pressure. It was quite sophisticated to trick the examiner.
The vehicles attaching the device produced 10 ti 40 times the legal amount of the emission on the road. There are 11 millions cars which has been cheating the emission test all over the world.
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It had been suspected for one year that Volkswagen in the US equipped the defeat devices. Formerly it denied the existence of any tricks, but finally admitted the installing of defeat devices.
Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen had to resign, and Matthias Mueller, the chief executive of Porsche, succeed the seat.
Actually, the suspicion of the fraud had emerged since a research team at West Virginia University investigated the emission performance of Volkswagen cars. But it took some years before the whole figure of this trick was published.
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Volkswagen lost 30% of its stock value due to this scandal. In addition, it will face lots of lawsuit alleged by the owners. It is unlikely that Volkswagen will bankrupt immediately.
On the other hand, I wonder other car companies is using defeat devices as well. The Volkswagen cars excreted dozens amount of emission beyond the environmental standard. It means that Volkswagen hardly created the diesel cars matching the standard by itself, or even if it is possible, they could not be monetized. This situation can correspond to competitors. Therefore, it is possible many car companies use some cheating more or less.
In addition, since condition regulating software is protected by the copyright, it is difficult for third persons to investigate the content of the software in detail.
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I am afraid that other car makers will also be accused in the same way of Volkswagen soon.